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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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Recognizable OOC Recipients 04: Musicians

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

There are actually quite a number of Order of Canada recipients that are musicians. More musicians will appear in later installments.

Saskatoon native Joni Mitchell graced our radios in the decades since the sixties with her folk/pop singing that had been the influence of a great many musicians worldwide. Some of her album covers were self-drawn, and one was a self-portrait. She was made a companion of the Order of Canada in 2004.

paul_anka

Paul Anka

Going back a generation in music history, Ottawa-born Paul Anka is only two years older than Joni, but had his first hit song at age 15 when Diana went to the top of the Billboard charts in 1957, and was a hit on both sides of the Canada-US border. He continued to produce hit singles well into the 1980s. Greatest hits compilations have been showing up as recently as 2013

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Famous Teetotalers 04: Politicians staying on the wagon

Scarfing down some OJ: about as alcoholic as it gets with Trump these days ...

About as alcoholic as it gets with Trump these days …

There was never any indication that Donald Trump over-indulged in alcohol, but any indulging he ever did came to a halt in 1981 when his brother died of complications from alcholism. From then on, the billionaire politician eventually put an end to all bad habits: no alcohol, cigarettes, or recreational drugs. In all the brouhaha he creates in politics these days, it is easy to forget that when he says all those outrageous things, he does it sober, and in his best sense of mental acuity. Scary.

whothef-k

Most people don’t, but they like the T-shirt anyway.

Ernesto (“Che”) Guevara (1928-1967) is a tad to the political left of Trump, I would suppose, but they have a lot in common. Both Che and Trump are loved or reviled, depending on who you talk to. Both were political outsiders that want to upset the political establishment apple cart for the sake of their own passionately-held beliefs. Che’s likeness, similar to the image you see to the right, was once used to sell strong drink (30% alcohol) that many people find hard to classify. Not a great homage to someone who not only was a non-drinker, but even tried to get alcohol banned in Cuba. The estate of the photographer of the image, one Korda Gutierrez, sued Smirnoff, the maker of the beverage, in 2000, for breach of copyright in using the photo on their bottles.

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Recognizable OOC Recipients 03: David Suzuki and Clayton Ruby

Tweet David Suzuki, geneticist, outspoken environmentalist, university professor, Long-time host of CBC’s The Nature of Things, writer of many biology books and textbooks, was appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada back in 1977, and became a Companion of the OOC in 2005. He now runs The David Suzuki Foundation, a charitable organization which is […] […]

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Pictures say it all: Some of the world’s worst commutes

Tweet Think your commute was bad? The worst I have heard of is one consisting of a 50-lane (that’s f-i-f-t-y lanes) highway, called the G4, which joins up Beijing, Macau and Hong Kong. It has been referred to as “the Great Crawl of China”, and “a waiting area for toll booths”. There exists a checkpoint plaza […] […]

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Famous Teetotalers 3: Keeping your friends close

Tweet Al Pacino, actor in Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, and all of The Godfather parts, had faced alcoholism once, but swore it off due to a healthy support network of people around him. In the Godfather, Pacino’s character Michael Corleone famously said something like “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”. That might work in […] […]

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Recognizable OOC Recipients 002: Anita Best

Tweet Newfoundland is known for, among other things, its own brand of music. Anita Best was music in a space of her own. People not hep to Newfoundland culture would very likely take to her music, since most of it is free of button accordions, harmonicas, bagpipes and the like (sometimes she’s a capella). In my […] […]

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Famous teetotalers #2: Humanitarians

Tweet Nelson Mandela – An anti-Apartheid activist who paid for it with decades of imprisonment. He led an austere life where he never drank or smoked, and was gracious to people in all walks of life. He became recognized as the father of South African democracy, and has received many awards, among them the Nobel Peace […] […]

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Recognizable OOC Recipients 01: Richard Gwyn

Tweet This is the first article in a series on Order of Canada (OOC) recipients that carry some cachet in Canadian popular culture. I first heard of Richard Gwyn a few decades ago when I was in high school, and I bought a book by him called The Northern Magus, a bio of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I […] […]

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Famous teetotalers #1: Starr and Nietzsche

Tweet Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) – One of two surviving Beatles who, from the 1960s, said in an interview after Sgt. Pepper words to the effect that drugs make you a lousy musician and artist: “we were just junkies dabbling in music”, he said in 2001. But as for alcohol, it took its toll on him […] […]

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Fixing some brokenness in the website

Tweet Mostly what are being fixed are media links. Plugins have changed; media files got moved around. Right now some, but not all of the media is working. Since WordPress has native support for a lot of the media, I am trying to move away from using plugins and relying on the native support from WordPress […] […]

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New serieses (is that a word)?

Tweet I have some ideas for some new series in future posts. I have to come out of the closet as being a teetotaler, and have been one all my life. In case you don’t know, a teetotaler is someone who totally abstains from drinking alcohol. In celebrating teetotalism, I am proposing a series of famous […] […]

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In Memoriam 2015

Tweet January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, […] […]

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Revival of Santa Bailout hearings

Tweet We re-run the video on the Santa Bailout Hearings, so topical years ago, but the image never quite goes away. […]

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I am a Trudeau fan, but …

Tweet I am a little worried about the fawning admiration the press is giving to our new Fearless leader, Justin Trudeau. It has crossed the border of “good news” reporting to the land of hero worship. Indeed, there is a lot to feel good about: his balance of cabinet among men and women, the bringing back […] […]

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Tweet I’ve written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km northwest of Debden along rural route 55. You need to […] […]

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According to CBC, I am on the loony left of all political parties this election

Tweet I am somewhat opinionated on political matters, and over the years of my life have cultivated a sufficient literacy that I can discern attempts on news media to persuade rather than inform. Having done a university course on rhetoric helped greatly when I was young. I am not sure how I should react to these “surveys”. […] […]

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Another way of entering function notation in Maple

Tweet A while ago, I wrote about writing functions in Maple, which made it possible to use function notation inside of the software. There is a simpler way to do it, taking only one step: f:=x-> x2 – 3*x + 2 f(5) […] […]

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Thank God for the secret Canadian AAEVPC Party!

Tweet The political party with the instantly forgettable name of “Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada” and the equally forgettable acronym “AAEVP” have a lot of flaky positions on many issues and thank God they remain a secret party that no one has ever heard of outside of small gatherings here and there. There are a […] […]

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The bad optics of playing the “bully” card for Margaret Trudeau

Tweet Yes, I know the context. Margaret said what she said in the grander context of negative politics, using her son as an example. The CBC article online today grabbed my attention: “Attacks on Justin Trudeau ‘straight out bullying,’ says mom Margaret“. That, and the illustration just conveyed the worst possible image of a mother doting on […] […]

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

Tweet I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let’s not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With much less Canadian culture left to protect, and with Canadian […] […]

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